Earlier this week I posted a few questions about the concept of intelligent design from a biological standpoint but from that of a designer. As you can guess, there was no answer from Dembski, probably because a small fry blog like this is just not important enough to warrant his attention and can be safely ignored. However, one reader requested to tackle these questions and since I did ask, it’s only fair to share his answers and take a few moments to see whether they address the issue or not. Remember that for the purposes of this exercise, we’re not trying to prove or disprove creationist ideas. We’re just talking about the quality of the alleged design.
The common theme of all my questions had to do with flaws in how well our bodies adhere to basic concepts most designers are supposed to learn by heart and use for all their projects. Jeff Sollars explains the lack of interchangeability of our organs and the trouble we have when vital components of our bodies fail, thusly…
The human system is designed to be self-supporting and has redundancy components within the system in order to be self sustaining. The modularity of components between systems is evident on a cellular and molecular level.
Okay. That’s not at all what was being asked in the first question. Sure, because new functions and structures can and do arise from existing ones, we’ll find plenty of redundancies in the body. But we only have one heart, one brain, one liver and one stomach. Should they stop working, we’ll die because we don’t have a spare and we can’t just swap out organs with the kind of ease a mass produced object should be able to. The response missed the whole point by a mile and a half. And the reply to the second question about where we could find a watermark or a logo of a designer fares no better.
The pattern of relationships showing [an organism’s] will to survive determine the signature, the commonality. There are many logos there are many watermarks, there are many identities.
Again, huh? There’s a lot of talk about systems and patterns but no concrete examples as requested. Instead of being pointed to a certain chromosome and told to look for a certain marker, we’re floating around in clouds of indeterminacy and philosophy. With all due respect, even Behe, Dembski and Egnor at least try to point to a concrete organism or function and despite being wrong, they at least try to nail down something tangible. Let’s see how Jeff does explaining why we’re vulnerable, frail tropical creatures which survive by wits alone and lack any natural defense against wild creatures that can and do maul us to this day.
The success of the defenses will determine the longevity of the system as a successful pattern of survival. The Dinosaurs were systems that survived millions of years due largely to their defense subsystems.
That’s zero for three as far as actually answering the question being presented and a complete evasion of the point being raised. Dinosaurs had claws, fangs, physical traits that allowed them to fight or get so big so fast, no one would dare mount an attack against them. But what about us? We’re totally helpless in the claws and fangs department. Why did dinosaurs have them and we don’t despite facing the same eat or be eaten drives of natural selection? There were plenty of times over the last ten million years or so that hominids could put a venomous bite or shearing claws to good use. We’re trying to look at designing a living thing and if we need to go back to natural selection, we should just stick to evolution in the first place.
By now you might have guessed that the question about why humans seem to have no specialized task built into their body shapes at birth also gets no elaboration from Jeff. And you’d be absolutely right…
We are specialized to do everything we do. If we were not, we would not survive very long.
Being specialized to do everything is an oxymoron. Your car isn’t also your plane, washing machine, oven and couch. Tools are either specialized for particular tasks, or perform a narrow range of them. Humans have the potential to do wildly different tasks and as noted in quote above, being generalists is what keeps us going as a species. We’re omnivorous, flexible and lack normal constraints imparted on designed machinery. Ants and bees have the kind of specialization I’m talking about. But what about us? Why don’t we if we’re designed by a wise external agent who needs us to do a particular job or play our part in a specific experiment?
At this point it doesn’t even seem necessary to go into the last question. Jeff’s answers can only be called so by a semantic label and don’t actually provide any information or insight into the issues being laid out. Funny enough, this is what usually happens when you ask pointed questions about the design part of ID. You get a lot of vague responses, sometimes a great deal of technobabble but a real, concrete reply is rarely there. And even then, it’s virtually always based on bad science or lack of relevant knowledge on the subject.